Russian special operation in Ukraine
An important motivation in the anti-Russian position of the Japanese authorities was the problem of Taiwan. This was stated by the head of the Center for Japanese Studies of the Institute of China and Modern Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences Valery Kistanov, commenting on the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to Kyiv. The expert believes that Japan should punish Russia for the conflict in Ukraine in order to show China the consequences of a possible conflict over Taiwan.
“Japan is really very concerned about what is happening around Taiwan and is afraid of military action between the US and China, because Tokyo will inevitably be drawn into this conflict. Therefore, Japan’s motive here is this: it is necessary to punish Russia for Ukraine so that China would be reluctant to do the same with Taiwan,” the expert explained.Izvestia“.
Kistanov noted that the analogies drawn between the events in Ukraine and what could happen in Taiwan are drawn not only by the Japanese leader. In 2022, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg repeated the same thesis more than once, the expert says. He also noted that during the year of the conflict in Ukraine, the Japanese allocated more than $7 billion to Kyiv, and also sheltered about 2,000 Ukrainian refugees.
After Russia launched a special operation in Ukraine and Japan supported Western sanctions against Moscow, relations between the countries deteriorated, and Japan was included by the Russian authorities in the list of unfriendly countries. Later, the executive director of the largest Japanese trading house Itochu, Masahiro Okafuji, said that Japan would not survive without imports of Russian oil, since the country depends on foreign partners for all energy needs.
Japanese ex-diplomat Ukeru Magosaki noted that after the end of the Ukrainian conflict, Japan will regret the chosen anti-Russian course. On March 21, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrived in Kyiv for a working meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During a joint press conference, Kishida said that Japan would allocate $30 million to supply Ukraine with non-lethal equipment. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin reacted to Kishida’s visit to Ukraine. He expressed hope that Japan would contribute to a political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.